27 Apr 2006

Concerns at clamps on crab harvesting in Vanuatu

8:12 pm on 27 April 2006

The Vanuatu government says its restricting the harvesting and selling of coconut crabs to assist the crab population in the long run.

A Department of Fisheries survey found that the coconut crabs being sold in market places are a lot smaller then in previous years.

The restriction is on Torba, in the Torres group of islands in the far north, which has the largest number of coconut crabs, is between January to August and November to January.

But our correspondent in Vanuatu, Len Garae reports angry locals on Torba say sales of the crabs are their main income.

"there is no source of revenue and their children have to go to school - and they are saying - if the government does not allow them to continue to sell coconut crabs then their children will not be able to go to school - they are threatening to"

take all their children out of the country - to get their children - they have even gone as far to say that the government refuses to reopen the sale of coconut crabs in the province - they have no choice but to consider running away to Solomon Islands because Solomon Islands is closer to Vanuatu.